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Community Vaccination Center at Columbia Place Mall switching to single-shot Janssen vaccine

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 10:00 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Starting Thursday, the Community Vaccination Center (CVC) in Columbia will be offering the single-shot Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine at the Columbia Place Mall.

The site is a FEMA-supported, large-scale vaccination clinic that’s a partnership between the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, Richland County, and the City of Columbia.

J&J will be the only vaccine available at the site beginning May 27. Only people 18 and older are authorized to receive it.

Through the first six weeks of the clinic, nurses at the site have been administering doses of the Pfizer vaccine to South Carolina residents, as well as to travelers from other states who stopped to get vaccinated.

As of Tuesday morning, 18,211 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered at the site, including 11,415 first doses and 6,796 second doses.

All eligible residents, including those ages 12 to 15, could get their Pfizer vaccine at CVC through Wednesday. Nurses at the site helped residents schedule their second dose of the vaccine, as well.

Because the Janssen vaccine is authorized for those 18 and older, the CVC site will be limited to that age range as of Thursday.

“The Community Vaccination Center has served a huge role in keeping South Carolinians safe and will continue that effort with the Janssen vaccine during the site’s final two weeks of service,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director.

The J&J vaccine will be offered at the site from Thursday, May 27 to Wednesday, June 9.

The site will remain open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No appointment, insurance, ID, or documentation is required to get vaccinated. The site welcomes walk-ins and those who want to drive-thru in their vehicles.

In a regularly-scheduled call with journalists on Wednesday, DHEC Director of Public Health Brannon Traxler said the federal government specially shipped roughly 1,500 J&J doses to the CVC for the effort.

That shipment is separate from the weekly shipments of the J&J, which have dropped to zero due to sanitation issues at the major Baltimore plant producing the vaccine.

“If that should begin to dwindle, we’re staying connected with our federal partners to make more available to help support this clinic,” Traxler said.

The one-shot J&J vaccine will naturally eliminate the need for a second dose, something that is holding the state’s full vaccination percentage back.

As of May 24, 44 percent of South Carolinians 12 and older had received one dose, but only 36.1 percent had completed the vaccination series.

“Some people just forgot about their second dose appointment, some had something come up and never rescheduled their appointment, and some folks are saying they didn’t realize how important it was to get their second shot,” Traxler said.

Moving forward, only those who received a Pfizer dose at the vaccination center will be able to get their second dose at the mall.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you, you can visit scdhec.gov/vaxlocator.

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